PSA: Google Top Stories Eligibility For All Pages, Not Just AMP Or Good Page Experience Scores

Feb 28, 2022 • 7:31 am | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

This is just a reminder, since I covered this back last April but I forgot myself, there is really no top stories eligibility requirements in Google Search anymore. It use to be that you needed to have AMP pages to be eligible in top stories on mobile. But that went away and you also do not need to have good page experience to be in top stories either.

As a reminder, the awkwardly placed core web vitals FAQs clearly says so:

Q: Am I eligible for Top Stories carousel if my webpage is not clearing Core Web Vitals?

A: Yes. With the upcoming change to Top Stories carousel, all web pages irrespective of their page experience status or Core Web Vitals score are eligible for Top Stories carousel. When the changes go live the compliance with Google News content policies will be the only requirement, and we will use page experience as a ranking signal across all the pages.

It also says:

Q: If publishers decide not to use AMP, how will they know their content is eligible for Top Stories carousel?

A: With the upcoming change to Top Stories, any news publisher’s content whether via AMP or another technology is eligible provided it complies with Google News content policies. Whether content shows up in practice will depend on a number of factors that ranking considers, and page experience criteria will be one of them. To be clear, any content irrespective of its page experience metrics is eligible for Top Stories feature on Google Search.

Q: If my AMP pages don’t have a good page experience, are they still eligible for the Top Stories Carousel?

A: Yes, any content that meets the Google News content policies is eligible to be displayed in the Top Stories carousel. Page experience refers to a collection of signals that are all important to deliver a good page experience, and the signals are becoming a factor in ranking, including in the Top Stories Carousel. This means that page experience factors, in addition to many other factors including the content itself and the match to the query, will determine its placement in the Top Stories carousel. Publishers should be focused on making improvements to page experience a relative priority over time as page experience ranking becomes the norm that users expect and other publishers would want to match.

John had to remind me of this when I asked:

So again, any site is really eligible to show in top stories on mobile or desktop, even if it has a poor page experience score.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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